Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Featured Review: Mutsy Duoseat
I first saw the Mutsy Duoseat 3 years ago just before my second son was born. At the time it was only available in Europe, but it has recently become available in the US for the 4 Rider frames and I was very excited to have the opportunity to try it out. It can be purchased on its own for an existing Mutsy 4 Rider to replace the single seat or it can be purchased with a frame if you don’t already own a Mutsy. The Douseat basically turns a single Mutsy into a double, so 2 children is the same space as one. The seats hold 33 lbs (15 kg) each or 66 lbs total for the stroller. The front seat, rated for 6 months and up, is larger than the rear, has a smaller canopy and does not recline. The rear smaller seat has a full canopy, a 4 position recline and is suitable for a newborn with the optional footmuff. A larger footmuff is also available for the front seat, as is a rain cover for the two seats. It is currently only available in Navy and retails for $199.00 (not including a frame, $599 with a frame).
If you already have a 4 Rider, all you have to do is assemble the Duoseat and pop it on in place of your seat. If you don’t, there is the option of the three 4 Rider frames- Light, Single Spoke & Next. I tested the seat on a Single Spoke frame with my 20 pound 8 month old daughter and 25 pound 22 month old son. The most impressive feature is the size of the stroller as a whole. It literally takes up the same space as a single stroller. It felt exactly the same as pushing a single. We “field tested” the Douseat under very rigorous conditions: mid-Sunday afternoon at Ikea in Elizabeth, NJ. You can’t get much busier & crowded than that. I have been to Ikea with several double strollers, both inline and side-by-side, and the Mutsy with the Duoseat outperformed every one of them. The frame of course is great and offers an incredible ride anyway, but it was amazing pushing a double stroller and really feeling like it was a single in every way- weight, push, space filled. I pushed through tiny aisles, while dodging carts, children and pushy shoppers with ease. I loved it.
There are only two drawbacks. The first is that the Duoseat itself can be a bit cumbersome in the car since it takes up quite a bit of space and you can’t fold the whole stroller as one piece. The Duoseat unit is quite big, but you can pop the seats off the its frame for a smaller package. The second drawback is that the seats themselves are a bit small with a 33 lb weight limit, so it’s not going to last you for a really long time if you have larger children. Both my son and daughter, however, seemed very happy and comfortable in the seats and they fit quite nicely. My daughter had plenty of room in the back seat, even plenty of room to kick her feet. My son is skinny, but fairly tall for 22 months. He fit well in both seats and had plenty of headroom in the front, but was a bit close to the canopy in the back seat. Just to test it out, I did sit my very tall 3 year old in the front seat, even though he’s a bit over the weight limit. He was close to the canopy, but just under it. 33 pounds should get you fairly far with the average child, so your second rider might no longer need a stroller when they hit that point. And when you do, it can go right back to a single.
If you live in a city, walk a lot under crowded conditions, shop in tight stores, have a newborn and a toddler, especially if they are close in age, this would be a great stroller for you. My children are 14 months apart and I am seriously considering replacing our larger double with the Duoseat. If you aren’t in and out of the car constantly or you have a large trunk, you’d still probably be quite happy with it as well. The push and physical size of the unit make it worth any inconvenience in and out of the car. In an open area it rolls like a dream and no matter how long my stride I never kicked the axle once, plus the Mutsy suspension is amazing. When I went back to my bigger double the next day, it seemed huge, heavy and unmanageable in comparison and I really missed the Mutsy.
If you already have a 4 Rider frame and need a double, it’s well worth it. You won’t find a double for the price of the Duoseat that can outdo its performance & size. If you have larger children, definitely try it out before buying, especially if you have to buy a frame as well, since you will only be able to use it until the largest hits around 33 pounds. You might not be able to use it for as long as you need a double, but it could work as a short term solution until your older child is out of the stroller anyway. And the option to reuse the frame as a single is a real plus. If it fits your needs, the Mutsy Duoseat a great option for a small double. You really will feel like you’re still pushing a single. - Kiersten, Staff Writer
posted by Growing Your Baby at 8/11/2010 01:49:00 am